Travis County school’s innovative way of teaching music virtually during quarantine


TRAVIS COUNTY (KXAN) — With students learning from home, some Austin area schools are getting creative when it comes to online education. One teacher at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy has discovered a new way to teach music to his students virtually.

At SMCA, one third of the 350 students are involved in the music program. Steve Moreland, the director of fine arts at St. Michael’s, pivoted directly into an e-learning experience for students that the academy says is as close to a hands-on, in-person instruction as you will find in any quarantined learning environment.

“We take an approach of like, let’s teach you instruments where you can kind of play with others without having to like music or without having to have a teacher telling you exactly how to play,” said Moreland.

Students are instructed on how to make their own music using the software Soundtrap with music theory being taught in practical application. Music from a variety of genres over the past 60 to 70 years is used to diversify the class.

Most importantly, students are able to choose their own lessons.

“We’re making all these new songs like being able to teach ourselves how to do all the stuff and we’re helping each other out because we are so close,” said one junior taking part in the program.

Moreland used the online program at SMCA to help create the Modern Band Lab, an interactive and hands-on music learning experience for educators to use nationwide.

More information on Modern Band Lab can be found on its website here.

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